Sunday, June 22, 2008

Read this post!

Not this post. This one. It is by Nathan Finn, who teaches at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Finn understands the issues that are confronting modern Southern Baptists and articulates them as well as anyone. As a historian, he is not easily swayed by myopic characterizations of what Baptists have been or ought to be. His thoughts on the Conservative Resurgence (CR) are refreshingly free from any political posturing or fear mongering. The quotes that he provides from the two key architects of the CR (Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler) are very instructive for all Southern Baptists who desire to move forward in the ongoing effort to see Jesus Christ honored in our churches and His Gospel boldly proclaimed throughout our world.

Go read his article. Then pray that the Lord will grant Southern Baptists wisdom and humility to recommit ourselves to obeying the Great Commission without reservation.

5 comments:

DoGLover said...

Interesting post by Nathan & well said. If the Conservative Resurgence is over, the Evangelical Resurgence remains vital. The statistics regarding the present state of SBC churches reveal the fruit of practices that exchange the Gospel of Christ crucified for man-centered, emotion-driven messages that increase church roles, but not the kingdom of God.

Tom, thanks for your leadership in reclaiming the Gospel of grace.

Wyman Richardson said...

Tom,

Great article. Thanks for linking. There's clearly a "post-resurgence" feel in the air as evidenced by the growing number of diagnoses of where we are and where we're going. I think Nathan makes some wise assesments there.

It feels like the SBC is now a character in search of a script.

I'm curious to know your feelings about the "Great Commission Resurgence", which is obviously one attempt to help chart the course for the post-resurgence SBC. I just finished the little LifeWay booklet by that title last night.

My main gripe with it is "label fatigue" (must all of our labels have the word "Resurgence" in them now?) but that's just a personal tick of mine and isn't important at all!

I think it's right on, by and large, and being called back to evangelism and missions is essential.

But I do wonder this: can a "Great Commission Resurgence" be sustained on a foundation of weak ecclesiology?

GUNNY said...

Probably not the right place to ask, but it's about the Founders Conference this week ...

There are big gaps in the day between sessions. Are there things scheduled during the day for folks to do/attend (e.g., spares like my badself) or is that just time intended to relax, refresh, fellowship, and/or work on stuff?

Should be a great conference!

Tom said...

Gunny:

The answer is "Yes, both and." The good folks at Bethel have "afternoons of blessing" that they offer to the participants. You will probably want to sign up for one or more of these. But, apart from the dialog session, nothing formal is scheduled.

Look forward to seeing you.

Gordan Runyan said...

For me, the takeaway phrase from brother Finn's post was in the conclusion:

"By God’s grace, the Southern Baptist Convention did not follow the path of so many mainline denominations by capitulating to culture and rejecting our biblical foundation."

As a refugee of one of those other denominations (PCUSA) I am so thankful that this is true.

However, I think this "battle for the Bible" has really only set the terms of the battle that is to come.

Now, hopefully, we can all agree that the Bible should be the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice within the SBC. But every pseudo-Christian cult in the world claims to be following the Bible.

I like the comment above: we are like a character seeking a script.

Knowing that the Bible is our authority is really only the first step. May God continue to pour out a blessing on us, such that we progress in faithfulness to agree on what the Bible actually means, now that we agree it's the authority.